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April 2011

Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage invites you to Scientists’ Cliffs for a day.

Quirky. Eccentric. Eclectic. That’s how people describe Scientists’ Cliffs, the private community on Calvert’s famous cliffs. The twisting dead-end lanes and the collection of cabins lining them have been quietly hidden from public view for the last 74 years. All five entrances to the community are labeled private, discouraging sightseers and adding further mystique to the historic neighborhood.

In two hours, I’ll show you 350 years — with stops for ice cream.

Downtown Annapolis is a time capsule. Follow me on this mile-and-a-half jaunt, and you’ll pass through 350 years.

Opening the tap can save you big bucks while helping the environment, too.

Come close because I have a secret to tell you. It’s not a secret you need to keep. It’s a secret you need to spread.     Want me to spill it?     Listen up.     That water that comes out of your kitchen sink or bathroom faucet, you know the stuff. The same water you use to brush your teeth or wash your dishes. The same water you fill your dogs’ bowls with. Yeah, that water.

Turtles, like people, benefited from William Donald Schaefer’s beach-bound determination.

Back in 2001, I joined the Severn River Association in arguing a tidal wetlands case before the Board of Public Works. We were trying to convince the regulators that a living shoreline would be better than a rock revetment on one of the last remaining natural shorelines along the Severn. To make our case, we came armed with school children and turtles.

Cut it to the ground now, and be ready to spray it come fall

I’ve written here before about how to control bamboo, and kudzu, too. The column was picked up by the Wall Street Journal, and I received mail from all over the country from readers requesting more information. I also received several letters criticizing me for recommending the use of Roundup (glyphosate).

Seek bluegill, or bream, in sweetwater when the dogwood blooms

It was warm and sunny, a lovely day with a light, early morning breeze coming out of the southeast. I hadn’t seen a day like it in some time, and from the last weather forecast, I knew that I might not see another for perhaps longer still.     Hurrying, I slid my squat, blue dingy into the back of the pickup and filled it with tackle, battery and an electric motor. Then I headed for the Eastern Shore.

Follow the Big Dipper

The sun sets a little before 8:00 this week, with full darkness coming almost an hour later. By that time, the great bear Ursa Major is almost directly overhead. The third-largest constellation, Ursa Major has been seen as a great she-bear by ancient peoples from Greece to India, Babylon to North America.

A G rating takes the teeth out of this lion and cheetah documentary

Cheetah mother Sita stalks an antelope in the tall grasses of the Kenyan savannah. She chases her quarry, closing the gap between them with bounding strides. Sita leaps, claws out, and lands upon the antelope’s hindquarters.     And cut!     The director returns to Sita later, face smeared with blood, feeding her hungry cubs. The antelope, curiously, is nowhere to be found.

I’m sorry to see you go

Like newspapers — I mean the print variety — politicians are news one day and fish wrap the next. That was not the case with William Donald Schaefer.     On a Maryland scale, Schaefer was God in his heavens. We might not think of him everyday, but if we ignored him too long, the thunder would roar — and lightning might strike.
Dear Bay Weekly:     Thank you for Heather Boughey’s great article about the Maryland Park Service’s Park Quest program in Bay Weekly’s April 14 edition [].     Her first-person adventures as part of Team Bay Bougheys showcase the fun, excitement and outdoor challenges that other families experienced last summer during Park Quest. We look forward to reading about Team Bay Bougheys’ adventures again this year on our Facebook site — with more family photos as well.